What is a CSA?

 Spinach in MayCSA is an acronym that stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which is a direct relationship with local farmers and families in the community. The movement began in Japan in the 1960's where a group of women, many of whom were mothers, were concerned about the rising cost of food, the presence of chemicals in commercial farming, and the decrease of small, local farms. Because of increasing industrialization and the corresponding dilemmas this introduced, these women and local farmers came together and developed the Teikei System, a group of producers and consumers who work to grow organic foods, protect human life and the natural world through sustainable practices, and advocate self-sufficiency. The mutually beneficial relationship offered the farmer funding early in the season and support throughout, and the families in return received ethically grown nourishment. According to the Japan Organic Agriculture Association, " 'Teikei' is not only a practical idea but also a dynamic philosophy to make people think of a better way of life either as a producer or as a consumer through their interaction" (JOAA). You can read more about that here: Teikei.

Ten Principles of Teikei (A Summary)

  1. To build a friendly and creative relationship, not as mere trading partners.
  2. To produce according to pre-arranged plans on an agreement between the producer(s) and the consumer(s).
  3. To accept all the produce delivered from the producer(s).
  4. To set prices in the spirit of mutual benefits.
  5. To deepen the mutual communication for the mutual respect and trust.
  6. To manage self-distribution, either by the producer(s) or by the consumer(s).
  7. To be democratic in the group activities.
  8. To take much interest in studying issues related to organic agriculture.
  9. To keep the members of each group in an appropriate number.
  10. To go on making a steady progress even if slow toward the final goal of the convinced management of organic agriculture and an ecologically sound life. 

Micro-CSA

 You may have noticed that we use the word "micro" when referring to our farm and our CSA. We are very small and we value the benefits of our micro size. We only manage ourselves and as such, we are afforded the time to do the direct sowing and harvesting, and experience first-hand what larger size farm owners may miss out on. We do have occasional harvest helpers who come on harvest days to help gather the items for delivery. Their help makes harvest days fun and much more manageable.

Soil in my handWhat we can sustainably produce from our commercial size 30'x96' high tunnel defines how many shares we can support. We don't grow crops in the field, but instead, we focus on producing many varieties and types of vegetables, flowers and herbs in small amounts (flushes) using organic methods. We work to naturally and sustainably improve our soil more each season, and follow a plant-positive philosophy (as opposed to pest-negative). The heart and soul of farming begins in the soil and many problems can be alleviated by improving the soil and tending to it carefully. This is a gradual process and it takes years to build the dynamic layers of biological life in the soil. We steadily work toward it each day.

  We are not certified organic, however, we follow the methods of organic farming and all of our crops are organically grown.